Patriot Day event to pay tribute to first responders
Local Realtor Mike Bailey said witnessing the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his outlook on life forever.
In 2002, Bailey was sent by his employer, United Parcel Service, to work for a non-profit agency in New York City.
“I was assigned to lower east New York City — the Henry Street Settlement,” he explained. “They worked with everybody — from the homeless to prostitutes to drug addicts to domestic violence victims.”
Bailey was asked to teach a series of classes on job hunting to inner city youth and out-of-work adults.
He thought he would be facing a tough crowd, particularly in trying to convince the inner city youth that making eye contact with a prospective employer was acceptable.
However, his concerns went out the window at the beginning of the first class.
One of the students, a man in his early 30s, stood up to tell the class that he had been a security guard in Tower One.
“He said he knew everybody coming in and said good-bye to everyone going out,” Bailey recalled.
With that introduction, the bravado of the younger students dissipated. Instead, they began focusing on supporting one another.
As he explored the 20-block radius around ground zero, Bailey talked with residents and firefighters about what happened to them on 9/11.
One of the lessons he brought home with him was the sense of community that grew as the city, as well as the nation, began to rebuild and heal.
“I see the same thing happening here in Rocklin,” he said. “Right now volunteers are coming together as a community to put together this event (Patriot Day).”
For the past couple of months, Bailey and a group of community volunteers have been organizing what they hope will become an annual event, Patriot Day.
On Sunday, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Rocklin residents can gather from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blue Oaks Town Center on Lonetree Boulevard to pay tribute to those who serve and protect this community.
With the support of R.C. Willey, which has donated the use of its parking lot, the group will present a showcase of local emergency responder agencies.
The Rocklin Police Department will have police cars, motorcycles, K9 units and the SWAT tank available for families to check out. Volunteers will be on hand to help parents put together Kids’ ID kits, which include fingerprints.
The Rocklin Fire Department will bring a variety of firefighting apparatus, including engines and the Jaws of Life.
Also scheduled to make an appearance is the Placer County Sheriff’s helicopter.
An area for children will offer bounce houses, video games and a petting zoo.
Rounding out the event will be 100 vendor booths offering food and boutique gifts as well as specialty items and a display of new vehicles and RVs.
Live music and entertainment, including an appearance by a Michael Jackson impersonator, will be presented throughout the day.
At 3 p.m., an hour-long 9/11 Memorial Tribute, hosted by William Jessup University, will begin.
University President Dr. John Jackson’s speech on the significance of 9/11 on this generation will be followed by Cody McCluskey, a resident of the United Kingdom in his second year at the university.
“Cody McCluskey will speak on the way his life was changed by the infamous day,” Haut said. “Cody will address the significance of this event upon the younger generation. He was moved to the point that he wrote a letzer to our president after visiting ground zero and suggested that WJU become involved in a commemorative ceremony.”
Other speakers, Haut continued, include Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence, Rocklin Fire Department’s Battalion Chief of Prevention Jason Shearer, Rocklin Mayor George Magnuson, Council member Diana Ruslin and a representative of the American Red Cross.
University alumni Natali Corrington will sing the National Anthem and alumni Jonathan Gee will play “Taps” at the close of the festival.
In a letter to the community announcing the event, Police Chief Ron Lawrence and Fire Chief Bill Mikesell wrote: “Although these attacks on our nation remain in our hearts and on our minds, we can come together to build a stronger community that supports our businesses and honors those who serve.”
Sponsored by businesses, families and organizations throughout the Rocklin community, admission is free.
Rocklin Patriot Day
Sunday at Blue Oaks Town Center on Lonetree Boulevard
Schedule of Events
11 a.m. — Welcome, Rocklin High School Jazz Band performance
11:30 a.m. — Placer County helicopter lands
11:45 a.m. — Jaws of Life demonstration by Rocklin firefighters
12:15 p.m. — Rocklin Police motorcycle officers and K9 demo
12:45 a.m. — Assembly member Beth Gaines
1 p.m. — National Moment of Silence followed by guest speakers
1:30 p.m. — Jaws of Life demonstration by Rocklin firefighters
2 p.m. — Performance by Whitney High School Marching Band
2:30 p.m. — Placer County helicopter takes off
3 p.m. — Memorial Tribute hosted by William Jessup University, including presentations by Rocklin Mayor, Police and Fire Chiefs and performance by university choir.